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Poster: Darkstarz117 Date: Apr 24, 2008 4:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Dead Books

I have read about 6-7 books about the Grateful Dead. I must say, from memory, the Rock Scully book was the most unflattering. I remember it depicting Garcia as a drug addict. It was almost nothing but cheap shots. Steve Parish's book was good, but it seemed more like a book of "i was friends with Jerry." This book did have a lot of fun stories of the JGB. So for that alone it is strongly recomended. The Phil book was great. It started from childhood,(very much like Dennis's book). This book is a must read. Insights from someone who was actually there. Then is my favorite Dennis McNeely's book. I remember reading this on my flight from South Carolina to Ohio ,for Thanksgiving, listening to Howard Wales & Jerry Garcia Hooteroll? for the first time. This book reads like an American history book from the Dead's perspective. It has amazing "bonus features" like meeting notes. Oh, I almost forgot the most creative read ever. Dark Star it's a book that tells the story of Jerry Garcia through quotes from him,Bill Graham,MG... the list goes on.

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Poster: dogsinapile! Date: Apr 25, 2008 8:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

If you like McNally's book abdout the Grateful Dead, you should also check out "Desolate Angel", his biography of Jack Kerouac. I believe it was after reading The Kerouac biography that garcia asked Mcnally to "do" the Dead.

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Poster: Darkstarz117 Date: Apr 25, 2008 10:13am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

Yeah i believe that was the book that landed him the dead deal. I haven't read it yet but it is on a long list of books to get. All I have to do first is finish the Harry Potter series, which I have been slacking on. Another great non-dead book series is the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. This is one of my all time faves work of fiction. That and Catcher In The Rye.

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Poster: SkyDawg Date: Apr 25, 2008 4:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

For a good background of the early daze read "The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe. I am including a link to a picture of Tom Wolfe, Jerry Garcia and Rock Scully on the corner of Haight & Ashbury when Wolfe was researching the book.
Check out Rock passing a joint to Tom Wolfe!
Wolfe's descriptions of the early acid tests are priceless. A must read.

This post was modified by SkyDawg on 2008-04-25 23:10:56

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Apr 25, 2008 5:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

Excellent book choice, Dawg. Haven't read it in over 30 years but the descriptions of Neal Cassady at the wheel of Further ring down through the ages. Still have my copy and I'm going to dig it out again now.

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Poster: BryanE Date: Apr 24, 2008 4:25pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

The Scully book is the most unflattering of all that have been published. But Jerry WAS a drug addict. Sad thing about junkies--need that cash to feed that jones because that's all there is: every waking moment is spent in pursuit of getting their sick off. Jerry was an artist of enormous talent, facility, and imagination who also happened to have a big appetite for drugs. That was pretty much the focus of his relationship with Scully as years went on--band matters were secondary.

McNally's book is a good textbook account of The Grateful Dead. My only real criticism is how the tale eventually pares down to basically "more touring," making the final stages of the story uninteresting. Dennis is a good man, though. He's done me a good turn on a number of different occasions.

I'm not sure how well Phil's Searching For The Sound holds up for non-Heads, but I enjoyed it. I didn't set out to weep at the end of it, but I did anyway.

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Apr 24, 2008 8:34pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

I haven't read many Dead books, but I did start with Thee Dead Book.
Probably the first one written on the Grateful Dead, and it came with a flexi-disc!

I think it was Hank Harrison who told me that the book included inside info of a demystifying nature and some of the family weren't happy it revealed methods to their madness (neither would telling how the magic trick is done be exposed by most professional performers of prestidigitation).

I read Captain Trips, that was alright; Garcia the Rolling Stone hardcover was better with great photos and various writers adding their two cents...
Rock Skully's book was the out and out tabloid bio, an interesting read but I felt dirty after words.

It's sad that Jerry Garcia so eloquently expressed an enlightened view on psychotropics, only to have too much emphasis placed posthumously on the end result of his experimentations gone awry.

Caveat emptor.

Perhaps it's best not to rinse and repeat with the same formula too long. Switch shampoos now and then to avoid build-up, so to speak.

And yet it was while kicking in rehab, trying to break the routine that was perhaps too great a shock to JG's metabolism.







This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2008-04-25 03:34:14

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 25, 2008 1:00am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

hey CPW, if you haven't already, i think you would probably enjoy Phil's book...dry sense of humour throughout with about half of the book devoted to the 60's

keep in mind that Phil is not a professional writer, nor is he a chatty-cathy-blabs-all...even so, for me, it could have easily been 10x as long


besides, i somehow doubt we will ever see a GD book written by any of the other band members

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Apr 25, 2008 4:13pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

Actually, Weir said yesterday at the press conference that the UCSC is great for him because he is planning to write a book and he'll go there to flip through stuff to refresh his memory.

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Poster: midnight sun Date: Apr 25, 2008 8:07pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

that's good, would rather hear from someone who was/is directly connected to the creative process...has Hunter ever considered such a feat?

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Apr 30, 2008 9:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books (what if?)

Been meaning to skim Phil's book, even more now - thanks to midnight sun's teaser -
"...dry sense of humour throughout with about half of the book devoted to the 60's.

keep in mind that Phil is not a professional writer, nor is he a chatty-cathy-blabs-all..."

Imagine if someone inside the Dead rarely regarded as a writer at all had kept an ongoing journal from day one.

What would, say, Pigpen's private thoughts and unfettered feelings about the band be like?


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Poster: Dhamma1 Date: Apr 24, 2008 4:24pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

If you haven't already seen it, have a look at "Bill Graham Presents", too. Like "Dark Star", it's a compilation of interview excerpts from many of the most active people in the San Francisco music scene. It goes all the way back to Graham's childhood in Nazi Germany and puts the whole 1960s epoch into proper historical context. It's also a tremendously fun book, despite its sometimes somber topics. The extended Dead family is, of course, all through it (well, most of it), both as people interviewed and people described. I suspect you'll enjoy it.

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Poster: Darkstarz117 Date: Apr 24, 2008 4:33pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

Sweet. I will need to check that one out.

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Poster: cream-puff-war Date: Apr 24, 2008 7:26pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

I really enjoyed the Bill Graham Presents book.

Especially page 356 (which can be previewed at amazon)!

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Poster: WatchYourSpeed Date: Apr 24, 2008 6:38pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

Blair Jackson's book "Garcia, An American Life" is the seminal and most authoritative work on Jerry's life. It is beautifully written and balances Jerry's life with the GD and JGB -- the paperback version has a great discography of Jerry's major recordings and Jackson's review of them. Two other books (which are really compendiums of interviews) are Garcia, A Signpost to a New Space, by Charles Reich and Jann Wenner and David Gans' Conversations with the Dead. There are many other books but I find most of them weak and not particularly well written. I include in this category Phil's book which was was a disappointment in a number of ways. Just my opinion......

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Poster: BryanE Date: Apr 24, 2008 6:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

And why I haven't ever read the Blair Jackson book is a question I can't answer.

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Poster: dogsinapile! Date: Apr 25, 2008 8:46am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books

If you read the Blair Jackson book (it is GRATE by the way), be sure to check ut his website (http://www.blairjackson.com/) where he has all the material that he had to edit out to satisfy publishers etc. He organizes it by chapter and it really fleshes out some parts.
Highly recommended read...

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Poster: He Live's Date: Apr 24, 2008 7:05pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books -- give it up Phil!

i sort of agree with you on phil's book -- after reading the parrish and rock scully efforts, which at least were lively with explicit detail - you may choose to take them with a grain of salt, or not.

phil's book was not very colorful. and really, i don't think he went out any limbs, gave any new insight -- and this is coming from someone that i think invented a new role for bass in popular music and more, was at the fulcrum of an unparalleled cultural phenomenon -- the LSD movement and by extension The Grateful Dead.

i mean, this guy has seen some Shit go down, and has MADE SOME SERIOUS SHIT go down too -- but he only tells us about being a pathetic alcoholic during the hiatus years, jonesing for another tour with The Dead -- and he tells the part about driving around that one tour with his wife and kids --

yes i agree -- it seems like it should've been a little more juicy... like he could easily go back and flesh it out with a hundred pages of GIG STORIES, couldn't he?

come on PHILLLLLL

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Poster: srtg83 Date: Apr 25, 2008 3:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books -- give it up Phil!

Unfortunately, I completely agree. As much as I am in the "Phil is God" camp, Phil's book is rudimentary at best. Way too light on substance and detail. For example, I am of the view that his six string modulus in December 1982 changed the way the band sounded and helped supplement the band's sound while Garcia took hisslide to the summer of 1986. Listen to the old timers review some of the pre-83 stuff and you will hear about the clean sound of the band that was replaced by a boomier one by 83. Secondly, what happened in early 89 that committed the band to the jam, slowed the music down and gave it considerable space. I hope Phil will write a follow up some day and elaborate.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Apr 25, 2008 8:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Dead Books -- give it up Phil!

I enjoyed Phil's book a lot but wish he had gone a little deeper into "rating" if you will, the band's performances year to year.

For example, he gives short shrift to 1977, glossing over what many heads consider the band's finest year. To Phil's credit, he does mention that '77 was one of his "Heineken" years and he doesn't recall much beyond being very drunk most of the time...but that belies the tightness of the band's performances that year.

His book is top-heavy on the early years, and less informative on the middle ones, before getting back to the nitty gritty in the sad late years.

Still a good read, overall.